Dr. Phil Maffetone is one of the best running experts in the industry for his work on the MAF method of training and his research on nutrition, particularly how to burn fat for fuel.

Today Phil and I started by talking about nutrition, how he discovered that there was something fundamentally wrong with the food sold today, and how deceptive the food industry can be.

We discuss how the government subsidizes junk food, making fruits and vegetables more expensive, which makes eating well on a budget impossible to accomplish.

We also talk about how the chronic diseases that many people die from are linked to being overfat, and the reasons why weighing yourself is NOT an accurate indicator of how well your body is doing. Not only are you starting your day depressed by the number you have seen, but you are essentially measuring water weight. Phil gives us a better solution, and ways to eat better for your long-term health as well as for your running.

We discuss why runners might initially struggle to run fast speed workouts with a low carb diet (I definitely experienced this!), and the power of those slow twitch muscles to develop our aerobic system. Fueling them correctly will only help us feel better, and of course run faster.

In the second half of the interview, we discuss the MAF method of running “slow” for 3-6 months, and how although it seems counterproductive, you will end up running easy at a pace you previously considered hard by giving your body the time to adapt and learn to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs.

Finally, Phil discusses his latest research on the Boston marathon, and his vow to try to change the ruling on Boston being a record ineligible course, as his research proves it is by far the slowest…  and actually, two other courses have a distinct advantage.

This episode is for you if you love to learn about the science behind what is going on in the running world. Phil is one of the names every runner needs to know, and this is why.

Today’s Guest

Phil Maffetone

Dr. Philip Maffetone has been a private practitioner, health and athlete coach and consultant, published independent researcher, respected pioneer in the field of complementary sports medicine, and internationally recognized educator and author in the fields of nutrition, biofeedback, exercise physiology, and athletic training over the course of his forty- year career. 

What You Will Learn About

  • Are we turning a corner with our health or are we getting worse?
  • What overfat is and how it is affecting our running more than we realize
  • How to lose that excess fat without going on a diet
  • Why getting rid of refined carbohydrates through sugar and junk food will make you feel significantly better in your running
  • The benefits of building your aerobic system for your health, not just your running
  • What fatiguing early in the race shows about your system and what you need to do
  • How you can run faster even if you are running slow every day

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Inspirational Quotes

The big companies, the sugar industry, the junk food companies know what we think, they know what people think, so they are changing things. We have a whole new world of junk food called natural.

If you go into health food stores, you will see junk food, and it is very well disguised, and if you are not careful, you will be sucked in by the packaging, by the names, the inferences.

90% of US adults are overfat, that is mind boggling…  exercise isn’t going to solve the problem. More people in the US are exercising than ever before, sugar being added to foods is the problem.

Junk food is not cheap, it just appears to be cheap because of the price you pay for one meal or one dinner for the family. People who consume junk food get hungrier sooner, so they eat more calories. That’s what junk food does, that is what sugar does.

Diets don’t work long-term.

We need to take responsibility for our own health, and not rely on anybody.

What sugar does when we consume it, about 40% of that sugar gets converted to fat and gets stored. The more sugar we consume, the more we convert. When we consume that sugar, we take a lot of the fat that is stored on our arms and legs, and send it to the belly.

Sugar reduces our ability to burn fat.

It takes a while for exercise alone to have an effect on body fat, but with sugar, it really takes 2 meals of no sugar or low sugar to affect your metabolism measurably. Within the course of 2 weeks, I have seen people lose 2 inches on their waist.

It’s now considered normal for runners to have frequent infections.

Submax performance is a very good way to measure max performance…and it is something you can do in the course or training without having to rest for it or recover after it.

Runners do more than run. They have a social life, a work life, a family life, and all these factors have a certain amount of stress, and that stress impacts our ability to progress.

The most common reason people don’t progress is because of their diet, because of the sugar.

That’s the benefit of the aerobic system, you can run faster at the same heart rate, and if you can run faster in training, you can run faster at the same race heart rate as well.

It’s a scientific way to get more healthy and fit

Stress affects us regardless of where the stress is, whether it’s the physical stress of bad shoes or the biochemical stress of eating junk food or the mental stress of having a bad day at the office. Weather can be a stress too. Hazy, hot and humid weather is a huge stress.

Under stress our resting, training, and racing heart rates are higher.

Resources Mentioned

Last week’s interview with Chad Moye

Big Fat Food Fraud Book

Endurance planet podcast with Tawnee Gibson

Athletes; Fit But Unhealthy

Definition of overfat

Article about excess body fat and being overfat

2 week test 

MAF test

MAF Heart Rate Formula

Boston marathon study about it being a slow course

Generation UCAN and BodyHealth sponsored this episode of Running for Real. Two products you can rely on.

Even if you are trying to tweak your diet to be ready for race day. Generation UCAN is the ONLY fuel I needed during my marathons, and you can get 15% off with code RUNNING4REAL at Generationucan.com

BodyHealth Perfect Amino helped my body recover MUCH faster after runs and workouts, I couldn’t imagine my training life without them. You can enter to win a free pack of 6 bottles or get 10% off at BodyHealth.com using coupon code TINA10. Click the banner for more information.

Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank you to Phil.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

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1 Comment.

  • Great show, I have heard him so many times, but yet this one had new stuff and old stuff in a new way. I think one big thing to remember is a lot of what he says has to be takin with caution, for example, there is no way someone who normally runs 35 miles a week runs MAF at 8:30 and then 6 months later is at 5:30 MAF. In addition, if you have a MET and run at 90/10 at almost all levels, there is no way you can run well without carbs, so all MAF stuff has to be looked at as N=1. But, I think everyone should run MAF ever week as a benchmark. Great podcast though, cant wait for part 2.

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